Small Intestine Cancer

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Treating Small Intestine Cancer TOPICS

How is small intestine adenocarcinoma treated?

General treatment information

Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, you may need more than one type of treatment. Doctors on your cancer treatment team may include:

  • A surgeon: a doctor who uses surgery to treat cancers or other problems
  • A surgical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with surgery
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other medicines to treat cancer
  • A gastroenterologist: a doctor that specializes in diseases and problems of the digestive tract

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and other health professionals.

After the small intestine cancer is found and staged, the cancer care team will suggest one or more treatment plans. Choosing a treatment plan is an important decision. It is also important for you to take time and think about all of your choices.

The main types of treatment used for small intestine adenocarcinoma are:

The main factors in selecting treatment options for small intestine adenocarcinoma are the size and location of the tumor, whether it has spread to lymph nodes, liver, bones, or other organs, whether there are any other serious medical conditions, and whether the tumor is causing bothersome symptoms. It’s often a good idea to get a second opinion. A second opinion may give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan chosen.

Thinking about taking part in a clinical trial

Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases, they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they are not right for everyone.

If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials. You can also call our clinical trials matching service at 1-800-303-5691 for a list of studies that meet your medical needs, or see the Clinical Trials section on our website to learn more.

Considering complementary and alternative methods

You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasn’t mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.

Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be dangerous.

Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known (or not known) about the method, which can help you make an informed decision. See the Complementary and Alternative Medicine section of our website to learn more.

Help getting through cancer treatment

Your cancer care team will be your first source of information and support, but there are other resources for help when you need it. Hospital- or clinic-based support services are an important part of your care. These might include nursing or social work services, financial aid, nutritional advice, rehab, or spiritual help.

The American Cancer Society also has programs and services – including rides to treatment, lodging, support groups, and more – to help you get through treatment. Call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and speak with one of our trained specialists on call 24 hours a day, every day.

The treatment information given here is not official policy of the American Cancer Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor. Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don't hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

The next few sections describe the different types of treatment for small intestine adneocarcinoma. This is followed by a discussion of the most common treatment options based on the extent of the cancer.


Last Medical Review: 04/30/2014
Last Revised: 02/09/2016